Music/Popular Culture

Basic Math for Rock Stars…

First I come across a piece that reports the death of Kevin Dubrow, lead singer for Quiet Riot. He was 52. Three years younger than I.

Then I come across this photo essay from Spinner about rock’s hardest partiers. Note the long history covered in this list. (For instance, Waylon Jennings gave up his seat on that plane with Buddy Holly so The Big Bopper could have it. That would take us back to 1959. And remind you further that the title of the first Janis Joplin and Big Brother album – vetoed by the record company – was Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll….)

Finally, I see this piece on Amy Winehouse’s troubles since she found stardom.

And I remind you of Santayana’s observation about those who cannot remember the past yadda yadda….

As Chuck once said, “Long live rock and roll….”

7 replies »

  1. I hope Winehouse gets her act together. There are too few artists out there who are actually worthy of the hype, and I’d hate to lose her. Legends grow, but they don’t produce new music (Tupac notwithstanding).

  2. It starts early. You can pretty much reverse-engineer the process. If at the end, one is on drugs, then prior to that they almost certainly started with booze. Alcohol is a sugar molecule, so an early association between sugar and rock ‘n’ roll may be to blame. I submit this footage for your consideration.

  3. Ugh. Winehouse looks like she’s going to the Angelina Jolie Starvation Diet Academy. When did skeletal become the new black?

  4. fikshun: This is why you’ll never be a scientist. A REAL researcher would have controlled for the Notre Dame sweatshirt before drawing conclusions about the causes of brain damage.

  5. Fikshun:

    Alcohol is not a sugar. Some alcohols such as ethanol are a product of the fermentation of glucose, but are not considered sugars. They are composed of an alkyl or substituted alkyl group with one or more attached hydroxyl groups. Alcohols generally end with the suffix “ol” giving names such as methanol, pentanol, and ethanol…depending on the number of carbon atoms in the alkyl group.. Sugars, on the other hand are considered to be simple carbohydrates. They also contain ketone or aldehyde groups. The nomenclature for sugars is pretty straightforward, they end with the suffix “ose” such as sucrose, galactose, glucose, etc.

    I never was good at biochemistry and never really got a good grasp
    on the chemistry of sugars. I don’t know the exact mechanism for the need of sugars by alcoholics. I do know that ethanol mimics some of the actions of glucose and sucrose in respiration, but I think it’s the metabolites (usually sugars)of achohols that fuel the respiration. Alcohols are water soulible and most simple sugars are also.

    I can see the correlation between alcoholism and sugar, but am painfully ignorant of the chemistry. I wasn’t a biochemist, I was a P-Chem guy. Biochemistry is way out of my league.


  6. Dr. Slammy: I did use a control group. None of those in the control group exhibited this behavior. There does seem to be a positive correlation between this behavior and various forms of child abuse (Notre Dame sweaters, Big 12 sweaters, North Carolina upbringings … take your pick), though it’s much too early to even speculate on causality.

    Jeff: Thank you for the clarification, though I will say there is a connection between alcohol and sugar. After my mom nearly died from cirrhosis of the liver 12 years ago, I spent 3 months raiding every store within 10 miles of her house, looking for tootsie roll pops. Prior to her hospitalization, she spent nearly a year with nothing but liquor as sustenance. For a few months after her release from the hospital, she couldn’t digest anything but those damned lollipops.